Koeberg generators are shapely one other Eskom scam – Chris Yelland
Eskom has been within the highlight, yet again, because the Zondo Commission persisted its teach bring collectively inquiry into its board and the dismissal of three senior members. Several whistle blowers own improved to shine a light-weight on cases of corruption. Essentially, dilapidated Eskom head of correct and compliance Suzanne Daniels mentioned tender manipulation to award contracts to of us pleasant to ANC members became the norm, and orders from the ministry of public enterprises on how Eskom business needs to be performed took keep on a day after day basis. Energy expert Chris Yelland delves into the murky waters surrounding the Koeberg nuclear vitality region, and the contract awarded to French contractor, Areva, under fishy terms. – Claire Badenhorst
Steam generators for Koeberg: the most costly transport of scrap steel within the history of humankind
By Chris Yelland*
The transport of the first of six unique steam generators by Areva final week to elongate the lifestyles of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear vitality region unearths yet one other scam at Eskom, perpetrated throughout the depraved leadership of Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and the dodgy Eskom board at the time.
On the premise of a three-month shorter transport time, the R5bn steam generator replacement contract became within the spoil awarded to French teach-owned nuclear contractor, Areva, who after running into financial difficulties, are now controlled by French national electrical energy utility, Electricite dé France (EDF).
This followed a protracted Excessive Court docket, Allure Court docket and Constitutional Court docket wrestle in South Africa, in which Westinghouse (within the spoil unsuccessfully) tried to scenario the irregular contract award to Areva on the premise that the claimed urgency of the lifestyles-extension became deliberately contrived by Eskom in command to wrongfully award the contract to Areva.
At the time when Koeberg became built between 1976 and 1985, Framatome (the predecessor to Areva) manufactured the two 900 MW nuclear reactors and the six associated steam generators at Koeberg, the utilization of designs licenced from Westinghouse.
Both Eskom and Areva claimed that it became fully fundamental for safe operation of the vitality plant and for safety of electrical energy offer in South Africa that the steam generators needs to be within the spoil replaced throughout the so-called “X23” outage at Koeberg in 2018.
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This became cited by Eskom because the motive slack awarding the contract to Areva, the keep an allegedly contrived three-month “float” in Areva’s project thought became indicated because the deciding part. This despite Westinghouse having met the total technical and business requirements, with a lower contract keep, and a mutter to meet the 2018 completion date on hassle of mountainous penalties.
Nonetheless, all has now no longer long gone effectively for Areva in executing the project.
Areva is purported to own experienced serious manufacturing quality complications with the steam generator forgings in France. In look of the claimed time criticality of the project, to resolve these considerations Eskom and Areva agreed that the uncompleted forgings may maybe well probably well be air-freighted to China the keep an Areva “partner” would total the plot.
Interestingly, each of the six steam generator forgings required the hiring of a Russian Antonov freighter airplane (six flights in total) to cruise the forgings from France to China. Nonetheless, in step with an impeccable offer, after taking a more in-depth stare at the forgings, Areva’s Chinese language partner determined to scrap them and start again from scratch.
One can handiest speculate as to why it became now no longer regarded as as cheaper for Areva to cruise engineers from the Chinese language producer to France to appear the steam generator forgings, as against flying all six steam generators to China for the inspection, outdated to them being scrapped in China.
A dilapidated senior nuclear govt at Eskom commented to this writer at the time that: “This became the most costly transport of scrap steel within the history of humankind”.
Eskom has since confirmed to EE Substitute Intelligence final week that: “The forgings did now no longer meet the anticipated quality standards and may maybe well maybe now no longer be permitted, and therefore they were scrapped by the contractor at their very possess keep”.
In step with Eskom, the contractual transport date of all six steam generators became February 2018, with the contractual completion date for the replacement of all six steam generators being the quit of 2019.
Nonetheless, with the total delays within the project, including restarting plot of the steam generators from scratch in China, transport of the first three steam generators for Unit 1 at Koeberg is handiest starting now in September 2020, with these for Unit 2 handiest scheduled for transport within the third quarter of 2021.
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Referring to the true replacement of the steam generators, Eskom now says that: “Set up is aligned with the outages scheduled for 2021 and 2022 respectively for the two Koeberg reactor objects (Unit 1 and Unit 2)”. No mention is now made by Eskom of the criticality for completion in 2018 cited by Eskom at the time because the motive slack placing a more pricey contract with Areva.
Whereas now no longer answering particular questions about the charge overruns coming up for the project, Eskom insists that: “The estimated keep-to-completion for the project is internal the customary finances well-liked in 2014”. Needless to claim, this is now no longer very precious, in consequence of the customary finances well-liked in 2014 is now no longer disclosed, and can were enormously greater that the contract keep.
Nonetheless, it appears to be like clear that Eskom has in actuality paid a top class for the replacement by Areva of the steam generators at Koeberg on the premise of a claimed three-month shorter completion time, when in actuality completion may maybe be some three years longer.
It’s an weak trick, however it completely clearly composed works.
- Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Substitute Intelligence.
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